Route 66 From Start to Finish

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map of route 66

Omaha Steaks

Introduction

Route 66 was a historic highway in the United States extending from Chicago to Los Angeles. It crossed much of the American Midwest, Great Plains, and Southwest. Although US Highway 66 no longer exists, you can still "get your kicks" on the path it took through the United States on other highways and roads.

Route 66 is one of the essential icons of America, both for Americans and for people abroad. It represents a multitude of ideas: freedom, migration West, and the loneliness of the American heartland.

The federal government officially commissioned the building of the road, on November 11, 1926. The highway was first opened in 1928, although much of the route was not paved for decades afterwards. It soon captured America's imagination. John Steinbeck, in his 1940 novel Grapes of Wrath, chronicled the migration along Route 66 of thousands of farmers leaving the Dust Bowl of Kansas and Oklahoma during the Great Depression, trying to reach a better land in California. Steinbeck posited the road as an almost hostile force, draining money, energy, and enthusiasm from the optimistic Okies.

Later representations of the road were a little more upbeat. Probably most famous is musician Bobby Troup's tribute song, which enjoined listeners to "get their kicks on Route 66". A TV show in the 1960s, also called "Route 66", featured two young men exploring America's highways. Although Jack Kerouac only mentions 66 briefly in his book On the Road, it acquired something of the aura of Beatnik cross-country driving.

In the 1980s, the aging highway was decommissioned. Much of its stretch had been overlaid or routed around by broader, newer interstate highways. But the embedded idea of Route 66 refuses to die, and thousands of kicks-seekers continue to follow the remnants of the road from Chicago to Los Angeles to this day.

The least expensive way to find and follow Route 66. Comprehensive map series prepared by Jim Ross and illustrated by Jerry McClanahan for the 8 Route 66 states. Maps fold out for easy viewing. Set of 8 maps. Buy at Amazon The guide's maps and directions are comprehensive yet easy to follow. The spiral bound guide stays open to the pages you are reading while you are driving. Also includes attractions, tips, other sources, and games. Convenient page format. Buy at Amazon

Path of The Mother Road

Note: State highways are referenced by their postal abbreviations. E.g., MO 66 means Missouri State Highway 66, IL 4 means Illinois State Highway 4, etc. Click on the city links to view lodging recommendations.

Trip planning caution: Over time, things change, move, disappear. Don't get "worked up" about it. It's an adventure. What's a vacation without a little risk?

Driving it in the opposite direction is historically wrong as the song says, "it winds from Chicago to LA"

Day 1: Chicago to Springfield, Illinois

All across Illinois, Historic Route 66 is very well marked.

Chicago Metro Area *Search Homes in Chicago

Historic Route 66 begins at Lake Shore Drive (US 41) and Jackson Drive (Art Institute of Chicago). Head west on Jackson. At Michigan Avenue, Jackson becomes one way (eastbound). Turn right, then left on Adams Street. Here is posted a "Begin Historic Route 66" sign (this was an earlier beginning, but the traditional end is at Lake Michigan on Lake Shore Drive). Follow Adams through the "Loop", past the Sears Tower, to Ogden Avenue. Take Ogden all the way through the remainder of Chicago (Note: Ogden Avenue runs through some rough Latino neighborhoods as you pass Roosevelt Ave., so keep a steady clip if you're traveling at night :-)) and Cicero. Turn south on Harlem Avenue, then southwest again on Joliet Road. At Indian Head Park, Joliet Road will dump onto Interstate 55. Follow Interstate 55 to the next Joliet Road exit, then head south towards Joliet.

Chicago to Springfield

As you enter Joliet, follow IL 53 through town all the way to Gardner. Turn west on Main to the east outer road of Interstate 55. Follow this road through numerous towns to Normal. The outer road will become Pine Street. Turn south on Linden Street, west on Willow Street, south on Main Street (Business US 51), left on Veterans Parkway. Turn on Beich Road which will become the north outer road of Interstate 55. Follow this outer road all the way to Lincoln (see the Dixie Trucker's Home in McLean, claimed to be the world's first truck stop). Follow Lincoln Parkway around Lincoln. Cross Interstate 55 to the east outer road and follow it to Williamsville. Join I-55. Exit for Sherman (next exit) which is Peoria Road (Business I-55) into Springfield

Day 2: Springfield to St. Louis

Springfield to the Saint Louis Metro Area

Entering Springfield on Peoria Road (Business I-55), turn west on Taintor Avenue which will curve around and become Fifth Street. Follow this to Stanford Avenue where it will merge and become Sixth Street. Continue south on Sixth as it dumps onto Interstate 55. Take the second exit and follow the west outer road to IL 104 and return east to I-55. Exit for Divernon and continue south on the west outer road to IL 24, go east and cross over I-55. Turn south on the east outer road through Mount Olive and Route 66 will cross back over I-55. At Staunton, join IL 4, go south to IL 157. Follow IL 157 south and west until it west of Edwardsville, where IL 157 turns south to cross I-270. Instead, head west on Chain of Rocks Road.

St. Louis Metro Area (Illinois)

Note: There are several alignments of Route 66 through the St. Louis area. This alignment will make for a continuous route.Follow Chain of Rocks Road to Mitchell at IL 203. Cross under I-270 to where Chain of Rocks Road continues on the south side of the interstate. Follow this to IL 3. A "Spur Historic Route 66" continues west to the old Chain of Rocks Bridge (pedestrian only). Take the side trip to the bridge, then return to IL 3 and head north. Take westbound Interstate 270 across the Mississippi River into Missouri. Turn south on Riverview Drive.

Day 3: St. Louis to Springfield, Missouri

Note: The letters SR refer to "Supplemental Route", a secondary highway system in Missouri designated with letters.

Saint Louis Metro Area

Note: There are several alignments through St. Louis. This alignment will maintain a continuous route.From the Chain of Rocks Bridge, turn south on Riverview Drive, continue to Broadway. Turn south on Broadway, then west on Calvary which runs between two cemetaries. Again turn south on West Florissant St which will eventually become North Florissant St (This is not a good neighborhood. It is advisable to keep the windows rolled up and doors locked.). North Florissant will make a couple of curves and eventually become Tucker Boulevard (feel free at this point to make a side-trip to the Mississippi River and visit the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial and the Gateway Arch). Tucker will angle off to become Gravois Road (Tucker actually goes south here, but the road "naturally" angles southwest onto Gravois). At Chippewa Avenue (easy to miss), Route 66 turns southwest. Ted Drewes Frozen Custard will be on your left close to the west city limits of St. Louis. Follow Chippewa to the city limits where it will become Watson Road through the suburbs. Marlborough was the site of the Coral Court Motel, now gone. Continue west on Watson Road until its becomes an onramp for Interstate 44.

St. Louis to Rolla

Continue on I-44 to the Allenton Exit (Six Flags), Business Loop 44. A side trip to Route 66 State Park (site of Times Beach) can be made by exiting at Lewis Road. Follow Business I-44 through Pacific to where it rejoins I-44. Continue west on the south outer road to Missouri 100 at Grays Summit. Follow MO 100 to SR AT, follow this to US 50 and continue on the north outer road to the exit for SR AH. Cross to the south side, and continue on the south outer road to St. Clair. At MO 30, cross over I-44 again and follow the north outer road to the Stanton exit (side trip to Meramec Caverns) and cross back over. South outer road to Sullivan (to Springfield Street) and continue down the south outer road through Bourbon to Cuba where the road becomes SR ZZ. At Rosati, SR ZZ becomes SR KK (continue west, do not turn south). At St. James, turn north, cross I-44, and take the north outer road to US 63 north of Rolla. Follow US 63 into Rolla.

Rolla to Springfield

At Business I-44, head west and southwest (past the University of Missouri's reproduction of Stonehenge) to Martin Springs Road (just before I-44). Turn west and follow through Doolittle until the road leads to I-44 (Exit 176 -- Sugar Tree Road). You MUST join I-44 at this point (the road actually continues down the south outer road, but the road has been cut off by I-44). Exit at SR D (Jerome), but continue west (not east). Follow the north outer road to SR J exit, cross over and immediately turn west on SR Z (an old divided highway). Watch for Teardrop Lane, turn left and drive through Devil's Elbow. The road will rejoin SR Z. Follow this road to Business I-44 in St. Robert, follow Business I-44 to west side of Waynesville and continue west on SOUTH MO 17 when Business I-44 turns south. Follow MO 17 across I-44 at Buckhorn, turn west on SR AB. When AB reaches I-44, follow the south outer road until the exit for Sleeper (at one point, the outer road will become SR N, always continue west). At the Sleeper exit, cross over to the north outer road and follow it into Lebanon where it will join Business I-44. At SR W (just before reaching I-44), continue on this road to Phillipsburg, cross the interstate and go west on SR CC to Marshfield. At Marshfield, follow NORTH MO 39 (very briefly) to SR OO and follow this road which will become MO 744 at the Springfield city limits.

Day 4: Springfield (MO) to Oklahoma City

Springfield to Joplin

One of the popular Route 66 eating places is the Steak and Shake located at St. Louis and National. However, one of the favorite dishes of Springfield is cashew chicken, a pseudo-Chinese dish invented in Springfield and available at any of the numerous Chinese restaurants in the city. It is not, though, available at Steak and Shake!

Follow Kearney Street (MO 744) to Glenstone Avenue (Business US 65). Turn south to St. Louis Street, turn west and go past the Shrine Mosque (on the National Register of Historic Places) to Park Central Square (a plaque on the west side of the square dedicates Springfield as "the Birthplace of Route 66"). Continue west on College Street to Chestnut Expressway (Business I-44), follow this across I-44 where it becomes MO 266. Follow MO 266 to the junction with MO 96 west of Halltown. At the junction, continue west on "Old 66" (a county road, NOT MO 96) through Paris Springs Junction to the intersection (again) of MO 96. Cross MO 96 onto SR N, turn west on “Old 66” (county road – old bridge is visible), go through Spencer and follow the old road to MO 96 (yet again!). Turn west on MO 96 and follow it through Phelps and Avilla. Watch for an older highway on the right side of the road (non-drivable) in Jasper County. Where this road appears to swing across the highway, turn left onto Old 66 Boulevard. Follow this road back to MO 96 and continue on MO 96 into Carthage. At Garrison Street (MO 571), turn south, then west again on Oak Street. This road will cross US 71 and reach a V-intersection (take the left road). Follow Old 66 Boulevard (the road back outside the Carthage city limits) past the 66 Drive-in. Cross over Business US 71 to Leggett Road and follow Route 66 Boulevard west. The road will turn left at an old cemetery and intersect with Main Street in Carterville. Follow Main Street into Webb City where it becomes Broadway (at the fork near the city limits, go left) and follow it to Jefferson Avenue. Turn south on Jefferson, west on Macarthur Boulevard (get into the leftmost lane), turn south again on Madison Avenue (Business US 71). Madison Avenue will become Rangeline Road in Joplin.

Joplin to Miami

Follow Rangeline Road in Joplin to Zora Street. Turn west on Zora, south on Florida, west on Utica, southwest on Euclid, south on St. Louis Avenue, and west on Broadway. Broadway will turn into Second Street as it crosses a viaduct. At Main Avenue (MO 43) turn south, then turn west again on Seventh Street (MO 66) and follow it out of the city (Schifferdecker Park at Joplin’s west city limits houses a famous mineral museum). Follow Seventh Street to Route 66 Boulevard just before the Kansas state line, turn off and follow the road into Galena, Kansas. Route 66 will continue across a viaduct to Main Avenue. Turn south to Seventh Street (KS 66), turn west and follow KS 66 all the way to Riverton. At Alternate US 69/US 400, KS 66 ends. The old highway continues straight west to the Marsh Arch Bridge (last of its kind, it's on the National Register of Historic Places). The road turns south and heads into Baxter Springs, ending at Military Boulevard (Alt US 69). Follow this road south all the way to the Oklahoma state line (an alternate alignment goes behind Wal-mart at the south end of town). Continue south on Alternate US 69 (eventually becomes US 69) to Commerce, Oklahoma. Turn right on Commerce Boulevard to a T-intersection. Turn left here (Main Street) and follow this road back to US 69 into Miami.

Miami to Tulsa

US 69 will turn right, continue straight south past the Coleman Theater, and turn right at Steve Owens Boulevard to rejoin US 69. Follow US 69 to US 60 where the routes will merge. Go past the Buffalo Ranch (famous for "buffaloburgers", now closed — the new "Buffalo Ranch" is not the original business) and follow US 60/US 69 past Vinita. US 69 will turn south, continue west on US 60 to OK 66 near White Oak. Follow OK 66 all the way to Tulsa. At Claremore is the Will Rogers Museum, at Catoosa is the Blue Whale (part of an old water park). When OK 66 turns onto Interstate 44, do NOT join the interstate. Follow the outer road to 193rd East Avenue and continue south, turn west onto Eleventh Street and enter Tulsa.

Tulsa to Oklahoma City

Continue west on Eleventh Street through downtown Tulsa (it will curve around and change names a few times) to Southwest Boulevard. Turn southwest on Southwest Boulevard to Oakhurst and follow OK 66 through Sapulpa all the way to the intersection with Interstate 35 near Edmond. Do NOT turn onto I-35. Continue west on Edmond Road (US 77) to Kelly Avenue and turn south, following it all the way to Interstate 44 in Oklahoma City (at US 77, it will be necessary to jog over it).

Day 5: Oklahoma City to Amarillo

Oklahoma City to Texola (OK)

Continue south on Kelley Ave to Interstate 44. Take the westbound exit, then exit at the next exit (Lincoln Boulevard) and continue south to the Oklahoma State Capitol. Go around the building to the right and continue west on 23rd Street. At May Ave, turn north, then turn west on 36th Street. When the road joins Interstate 44, do NOT get on the interstate (though a sign prohibits this anyway). Continue west on OK 66 to El Reno. West of El Reno, OK 66 ends, turning onto Interstate 40. Continue west on the road marked "To Fort Reno". Stay on the north frontage road as it becomes Spur US 281, then SOUTH US 281. Here you will cross the 3/4-mile long bridge over the Canadian River. Where US 281 turns south to cross I-40, continue west on the road north of the interstate through Hydro and Weatherford. Note: an alternate alignment turns north on US 270 through Calumet and Geary, then goes south on US 281 and rejoins the later route (as discussed above) at Spur US 281.

Through Weatherford, follow Main. At Seventh Street, continue west (do not curve off). At Fourth Street, turn south to the north frontage road and continue west. At 2330 Road exit cross over the interstate and continue west on the south outer road; at 2310 Road, cross back over to the north side of the interstate and continue west on the north frontage road to Clinton. Follow Gary Boulevard to 10th Street, then turn south, eventually crossing under I-40. The Route 66 Museum is located in Clinton, but not on Route 66. To visit, from 10th Street, turn west on Modelle Ave, then back south on Gary Boulevard.

From Clinton, go south on Gary as it becomes Neptune, curve west and the road will become the south frontage road for I-40. At Exit 57, cross to the north frontage road; at Exit 50, cross back to the south and follow the frontage road into Canute. At 2070 Rd, cross to the north frontage road. Follow this onto Business I-40 and go through Elk City. Where Business I-40 rejoins the interstate, continue west on the north frontage road. Follow this road to Business I-40 in Sayre. Follow Bus I-40 through Sayre, where it ends at I-40, turn west on the north frontage road. At Exit 11, join Bus I-40 through Erick. When I-40 turns north, continue west into Texola.

Texola to Amarillo

Note: On the stretch of Route 66 in Texas, on- and off-ramps for the interstate do not intersect crossing highways. Instead, the merge into the frontage roads. Take care when coming up on them (the frontage always yields to the ramp) so as not to get hit by traffic exiting I-40. Also, Texas (except in Amarillo and near Vega) does not really mark Historic Route 66; instead, signs on I-40 for exits post Route 66 signs as if the highway actually continued down the interstate, only leaving to pass through towns. Although this was the case towards the last years of US 66's existance, the historic route posted here follows the eariler alignment.

From Texola, head west on the main road. At the Texas state line, the road will become Spur TX 30 and join I-40. Before reaching the interstate, head west on the south frontage road. Follow this road (which eventually becomes Business Loop I-40) all the way to Shamrock, site of the U-Drop Inn. Continue on Bus I-40 to the west side of Shamrock, but stay on the south frontage road when the business route joins the interstate. At County Line Road, cross to the north frontage road and follow until it joins Spur 555 Highway through McLean. In McLean is the Devil’s Rope Museum. West of McLean, do not join the interstate, but take the road which curves around and goes under it. Follow the south frontage road to Ranch Road 291 in Alanreed and get on I-40. Exit at TX 70 and follow the south frontage road west through Groom (site of the Leaning Water Tower on the opposite side of the interstate) and Conway. West of Conway, the main road will turn southwest towards I-40. Cross I-40 and follow the north frontage road to Exit 85, and head northwest on Business Loop 40 to US 60. Follow US 60/Bus I-40 into Amarillo (where the road is Amarillo Boulevard).

Day 6: Amarillo to Albuquerque

Amarillo to Glenrio (TX)

Follow Amarillo Boulevard into Amarillo (home of the Big Texan, no longer on Route 66). Route 66 followed Amarillo Boulevard through Amarillo, but an older alignment turned south on Pierce, then west on Sixth, southwest on Bushland, then west again on Ninth, and finally rejoin Amarillo Boulevard. At Indian Hill Road, go west all the way out of town to Blessen Road, turn south, then continue west on the north frontage road. Watch for the Cadillac Ranch on the south side of the interstate, a must-see on Route 66. Stay on the north frontage road all the way to Vega, and then join Bus I-40 through town. Return to the north frontage road west of town through Adrian (a sign here is marks the "Halfway Point" on Route 66 and mileage back to Chicago and on to Los Angeles). At Gruhlkey rejoin I-40 (the original road is cut off) and follow the interstate all the way to Exit 0, Glenrio. West of Gruhlkey, the highway makes two massive drops of the High Plains over an escarpment. At Exit 0, follow Bus I-40 into Glenrio (site of the famous First Motel/Last Motel in Texas), an almost ghost town on the edge of Texas and New Mexico.

Glenrio to Santa Rosa (NM)

From Glenrio, continue west on the county road to San Jon (this road is gravel and may not always be driveable). Alternatively, return to I-40 and enter New Mexico. Exit for NM 392, the head west on the north frontage road to NM 39, cross under the interstate and enter San Jon (the gravel road alignment connects here). The third road on the right is old Route 66, head west. Continue west to Exit 335 (Tucumcari Boulevard), cross the interstate and enter Tucumcari. Tucumcari is the site of the famous Blue Swallow Motel. This road will become US 54 and will join I-40. It will be necessary to join the interstate. At Exit 321, exit and head to the south frontage road. Follow this until the road passes under the interstate via a drainage opening and becomes the north frontage road (NOTE: larger vehicles can NOT make this passage; exit the interstate at Exit 311). Follow the north frontage road to the Montoya exit and cross to the south frontage road. At the first opportunity to cross over the interstate, return to the north frontage road to NM 69, and then get back on I-40. At the exit for US 54 (South), exit and follow US 54 into Santa Rosa. At Coronado Ave, turn north and return to I-40.

Santa Rosa to Albuquerque

Follow I-40 for 70 miles west (I-40 was built directly on Route 66 here). To follow the older alignment through Santa Fe, go north at US 84. At US 285 is Clines Corners, a famous Route 66 stop. At Exit 209 head west on the north frontage road until it becomes Central Avenue in Moriarty; continue west on NM 333. Follow this road through Tijeras Canyon and the Cibola National Forest until NM 333 ends at I-40. Return briefly to I-40 and exit for Central Avenue, which curves under the interstate and enters Albuquerque.

Day 7: Albuquerque to Flagstaff

Albuquerque to Gallup

US 66 followed Central Avenue through Albuquerque, a beautiful city that sits like a bowl in the area above the Rio Grande River. On the east side of Albuquerque is the Nuclear Museum devoted to the atomic bomb. The El Vado Motel is in central Albuquerque, another famous Route 66 motel. On the west side of Albuquerque, Route 66 crosses over I-40. Follow the north frontage road across the Rio Puerco Bridge and get on the interstate. Western New Mexico is mountainous (though not as mountainous as the Rocky Mountains north of here) and is a very beautiful area. It also passes through some Native American reservations here which have retained much of their heritage. Many of the souvenirs sold here reflect this. At NM 6, the alternate alignment through Santa Fe rejoins the historic route. At Exit 117, get off the interstate and head west on the north frontage road. This road will get away from the interstate and return near it near Laguna Pueblo, follow NM 124 to Budville, and turn north at "Old 66", following it until it returns to NM 124. Continue west on NM 124 until it joins the interstate, and cross over to the south frontage road. Follow this road until it crosses under the interstate (lava beds can be found here) and continue on the north frontage road until it becomes NM 117. Follow NM 117 into Grants; continue west on NM 122 to NM 606. Continue west (not on NM 606) on the north frontage road all the way to Continental Divide. Rejoin I-40. At Exit 36, return to the north frontage road until it passes under the interstate and becomes "Route 66" in Gallup. Note the teepees on the east side of town.

Gallup to Winslow

Follow Route 66 through Gallup. On the west side of Gallup, the road becomes NM 118. Follow NM 118 through Defiance and under I-40, back over I-40 and all the way west to the Arizona state line. The spectacular scenery of the southwest continues on into Arizona. Numerous souvenir stands line the old highway at the state line (Navajo blankets are plentiful here). At the first exit in Arizona, cross under I-40 to the south frontage road. At Exit 354 it will be necessary to join the interstate. At the Allantown exit, Route 66 follows the north frontage road, but the road is gravel, or stay on I-40 to US 191. Follow McCarroll Road until it rejoins the interstate. Head west on I-40 for 44 miles. Route 66 enters the Painted Desert here. Feel free to exit and tour Petrified Forest National Park (a quick trip can take about an hour — the southern exit of the park access US 180 which can be taken back to Route 66 "or" return back to the northern entrance to rejoin I-40 and Route 66). Do NOT remove petrified wood from the park or take open packages of it bought elsewhere into the park. There are sections of Route 66 off the interstate here, but they are generally undriveable due to dead ends. At AZ 77, exit to enter Holbrook (site of the Wigwam Village).

Winslow to Flagstaff

Follow AZ 77 through Holbrook to US 180, which will join I-40. Follow I-40 to the Joseph City exit. Follow Main Street through Joseph City, crossing over to the south frontage road at the first exit west of town. Just past the Jack Rabbit Trading Post, rejoin the interstate. At AZ 87, head into Winslow. At AZ 99, go west until it rejoins the interstate and follow I-40 to the Winona exit. Along here is the famous Meteor Crater, the largest in the world. Two Guns is also located just off the interstate here. The elevation will rise here, and the desert will begin to be replaced by pine forest. Follow Winona Road to US 89 and continue southwest on US 89 (street name: "Route 66") into Flagstaff.

Day 8: Flagstaff to Barstow

Flagstaff to Topock (AZ)

At AZ 89A, continue west on Business I-40 and follow to I-40 west of Flagstaff. Exit at Spring Valley Road and head north to Parks Rd and go west. At Ponderosa Road, rejoin I-40. Head west to Williams. Williams was the last town on US 66 bypassed by an interstate; it is also the jumping off point for the Grand Canyon. To visit the Grand Canyon, head north on AZ 64, then north on US 180 to the South Rim. The Grand Canyon, though not on Route 66, is often a stop as it is only one hour north of the highway.

From the I-40/AZ 64 interchange, head west on Business I-40 to continue on Route 66. Follow Business I-40 through Williams and return to the interstate; continue west on I-40. Gradually, the road descends out of the mountains and reenters the desert. Exit for US 89 in Ash Fork, but head north (NOT onto US 89) and pass through Ash Fork on Lewis Avenue. On the west side of town, rejoin I-40 and head west. West of Ash Fork, exit for AZ 66. This is one of the longest unbroken stretches of Route 66, and this section has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places. AZ 66 gets well away from the interstate for many miles. Follow AZ 66 northwest through Seligman and the Aubrey Valley. Before Peach Springs is Grand Canyon Caverns. AZ 66 will pass through the Hulapai Indian Reservation and curve back south around the mountains and enter Kingman. Follow Business I-40 through Kingman. On the west side of Kingman, before I-40, Old Route 66 heads south. The road will go under the interstate and intersect Oatman Road. Head southwest on Oatman. Follow Oatman Road to and through the Black Mountain. The town of Oatman is on the west side. At the Y past Oatman, follow Old Route 66 south across the Warm Springs Wilderness to AZ 95 and follow this road to Topock and the junction with Interstate 40.

Topock to Barstow

At Topock, join Interstate 40 across the Colorado River and into California. The original bridge, to the south, now carries a pipeline. The Mojave Desert in southern California was the most dreaded part of the trip for most of Route 66’s existence. Although precautions should be taken (services are few and far between), most modern travelers should have no problems. The Mojave is a very beautiful part of Route 66.

Stay on Interstate 40 to the second California exit ("To US 95"), head west to US 95, then north to Needles. ( You will be required to stop for an inspection for plants. Carrying fruits, vegetables, etc. into California is not permitted. Usually, the check is pretty quick). Through Needles, follow Broadway to National Trails Highway, turn west and go under the interstate. Continue on the National Trails Highway as it turns north, goes back under the interstate again, and ends at Park Road. Turn west and join Interstate 40. At North US 95, the original alignment of Route 66 turns off to the north, then west and southwest along Goffs Road. To follow the later alignment (Historic 66, depending on the view) continue on I-40 to Mountain Springs Road, exit, and head southwest into the desert on the National Trails Highway. Note: Route 66 has no bridges over gullies, it merely goes through them. Take care of potential flash floods. If water is visible, wait a period of about 15 minutes and the road should be passable. Just west of I-40, Goffs Road intersects National Trails Highway. Follow National Trails Highway, separated from Interstate 40 by three sets of mountain ranges, and go through Chambless and Amboy (site of Roy’s, another famous Route 66 stop) and Amboy Crater. Go past Bagdad, Siberia, and Klondike as the road heads back towards I-40. Before Ludlow, 66 crosses some lava fields, then crosses I-40 at Ludlow. Continue west on National Trails Highway goes under the interstate and stay west. At Newberry Springs, follow National Trails Highway back across I-40 and follow the road to the west side of Dagget to Nebo Street. National Trails Highway (and Route 66) continues west, but enters a Marine Base. Rejoin I-40 to the Marine Base, exit, and follow Main Street on the south side of the interstate to enter Barstow.

Day 9: Barstow to Santa Monica

Barstow to San Bernardino

At Barstow, continue on Main Street and pass under Interstate 40 (one last time!). Interstate 40 ends just ahead at I-15 and a sign (eastbound) shows the total length to the other end of I-40 in North Carolina (2,554 miles). Continue on Main as it cross I-15 and turns back into National Trails Highway. Follow this road through Lenwood, Helendale, and Oro Grande. Pass under I-15 into Victorville (former site of the Roy Rogers Museum, now in Branson, Missouri). At Seventh Street, turn south to I-15 and head south on the interstate. Note: in the San Bernardino National Forest, Interstate 15 makes a steep, curvy downgrade. At Cleghorn Fire Road, exit, and go west then south on Cajon Boulevard. At Blue Cut, Route 66 crosses the infamous San Andreas Fault. At Kenwood Avenue, return to I-15 and very quickly (and carefully) head to the left lanes for I-215, and then back to the right lanes to exit for Devore Avenue. Immediately rejoin Cajon Boulevard and follow it into San Bernardino. Stay on Cajon until it curves into Mount Vernon Avenue and follow it to Fifth Street. Head west on Fifth Street, which will become Foothill Boulevard (CA 66) . Southast of the intersection of Foothill and Fifth is the site of the world’s first McDonald’s (located at 14th Avenue and E Street), now a museum.

San Bernardino to Santa Monica *Search Homes in Los Angeles.

Head west on Foothill Boulevard through several cities in the Los Angeles metro area: Rialto, Fontana, Rancho Cucamonga, Upland, Glendora, and Azusa (near which the name will become Alosta Avenue, then back to Foothill Boulevard, then to Huntington Drive). At Colorado Place, angle north towards I-210 (but do NOT get on the interstate), then head west on Colorado Boulevard through East Pasadena and Pasadena. At Arroyo Parkway, turn south and follow the parkway, as it becomes CA 110 and the Pasadena Freeway. Enter Los Angeles. Cross Interstate 5 and exit for Figueroa Street (south), then turn north onto Sunset Boulevard. Follow Sunset Boulevard northwest to Manzanita Street (a small street), turn southwest, and Manzanita will become Santa Monica Boulevard. Follow Santa Monica Boulevard through Los Angeles, East Hollywood, Beverly Hills (the beautiful city hall near Alpine Drive is worth a look), Century City, West Los Angeles, and back into Los Angeles. Stay with Santa Monica Boulevard all the way into Santa Monica to Ocean Avenue where Route 66 ends and a plaque dedicates US 66 as the Will Rogers Highway. Just south of here is Santa Monica Pier.